SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Those planning to travel between Singapore and Malaysia will be able to take public buses and cross-border taxis from May 1.
This comes a month after the full reopening of land borders between the two countries for vaccinated travellers, and more than two years after these services were halted in March 2020.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Friday April 22 that SBS Transit will restore bus services 160, 170 and 170X. SMRT Buses will restart its 950 cross-border service and Singaporean bus operator Transtar Travel will resume operating its TS1, TS3, TS6 and TS8 services.
The three bus operators have recruited, redeployed and trained their drivers, and conducted route familiarization since the start of this month after a two-year hiatus, LTA said.
With the resumption of these public bus services, existing vaccinated travel bus services provided by Transtar Travel and Malaysian bus operator Causeway Link will end on May 1, LTA added.
After Malaysia closed its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the 160 and 170 services were rerouted to turn around at Woodlands Center Road and Woodlands Train Checkpoint instead of go to Johor Baru.
Other cross-border bus services have been suspended due to pandemic restrictions.
With services restored from May 1, service 160, which connects Jurong East to Johor Baru via the Causeway; the 170 service, which connects Queen Street Terminal and Larkin Terminal in Johor Baru; 170X service, which connects Kranji MRT station and JB Sentral; and the 950 service, which departs from the temporary Woodlands bus interchange and loops at the JB Sentral terminal, will operate between 5:20 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. daily.
These are the same opening hours as the pre-Covid-19 days.
The frequency of these bus services will also be similar, LTA said, with 160, 170 and 950 services operating at intervals of up to 20 minutes during peak hours and up to 25 minutes during off-peak hours.
The 170X service will operate at intervals of up to nine minutes during peak hours and up to 17 minutes during off-peak hours.
Commuters can check LTA’s MyTransport.SG app or operator websites for bus operating hours and arrival times, LTA added.
The authority said it was also working closely with its Malaysian counterpart, Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (Public Land Transport Agency in English), to restore cross-border taxi services.
Commuters to Johor can either board a taxi at Queen Street Taxi Terminal or book one from taxi companies with licensed cross border taxi drivers.
Says LTA: “All travelers are reminded to comply with Singapore and Malaysian travel requirements to ensure smooth customs clearance.”
More than 1.2 million people have crossed the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia in the first two weeks of the full reopening of these borders.
Over the Good Friday weekend last week, another 436,800 travelers passed through land checkpoints at Causeway in Woodlands and Second Link in Tuas.
Before the pandemic, approximately 415,000 people used the causeway and the second link daily.
The causeway was one of the busiest overland passages in the world.